Match of the Round
Singleton Strikers 2-2 Kahibah FC
Singleton coach Brendan Slade was full of praise for a young Kahibah side as the Strikers were held to a 2-2 draw in the Match of the Round on Sunday.
Both teams had a quick turnaround between games after playing midweek. Singleton had an important win where they became the first team to defeat league leaders New Lambton this season. While Kahibah took a point out of their Tuesday match against Cessnock.
Singleton opened the scoring at Howe Park after a killer ball from Marlow Court-Kriesch put his side in a goal scoring position with a shot stopped by the hand of a Kahibah defender.
This resulted in the defender being shown a red card and Singleton being awarded a penalty, with captain Hayden Nicol stepping up to the spot and smashing the ball into the back of the net.
Singleton doubled their lead 14 minutes into the second half after some good lead up play that was initially saved by the Kahibah goalkeeper. Jake Barner followed the ball in to score the second.
Despite being two goals and one man down, Kahibah hit back with a goal two minutes later, making it 2-1 from a free kick which Isaac True finished off.
Kahibah refused to quit and drew level from another free kick. After a few attempts and blocks it was finally put away by Jensen Hunt.
“The performance today by everyone was below par,” Slade said.
“[I’m] not sure why. Especially playing at home you would think our players would use their home pitch to our advantage but credit to a very young Kahibah side. Their attitude and commitment was better, no questions about that.
“We spoke about the three games in seven days but so did Kahibah so there was no advantage or disadvantage.
“We wanted nine points from the three games but ended up with seven.”
Singleton were without Joe Civello and Tristan Muir due to family commitments and injury.
Kahibah coach Mat Moncrieff was satisfied with his team’s performance stating that they played well but just could not score.
“It was the youngest team we have put out all year with 17-year-old James Piggott making his first grade debut,” Moncrieff said.
“I am super proud of the boys. The boys did excellent and we deserved a point.
“We did really well. A very young team put on a performance which we can take a few positives out of.”
Moncrieff said the Rams looked forward to playing Wallsend next week and to continue to head in the right direction with plenty of young players putting their hand up to play first grade.
After their busy schedule, Kahibah have picked up two points out of the two games this week from teams above them on the table as they look to turn things around in the second half of the season.
New Lambton FC 1-1 Thornton FC
New Lambton’s almost faultless season has hit some road bumps this week after only picking up one point from two games.
New Lambton hosted Thornton at Alder Park on Saturday where the home side where up 1-0 at half-time thanks to a quality finish from Riley Taylor.
Thornton came back to level the score midway through the second half with Zac Skippen scoring off a set piece.
“It was another one where we were bit frustrated with the result,” New Lambton coach Tom Davies said.
“We played the better football but we learn from the last two games.
“We need to focus on getting back to how we played a couple week ago and getting back into good habits.
“We played okay but frustrated to come away with a point.”
New Lambton now look to their final six games where they will need to get as many wins as possible with Cooks Hill right behind them on the table.
The Eagles will have a break with the bye next round and the washout round the week after before taking on South Cardiff in round 17.
“Overall it wasn’t one of our best game. It was pretty even but in passages we dominated possession but we weren’t able to break them down,” Davies said.
“We weren’t good enough overall for the 90 minutes.”
Thornton co-coach Gary Wand said it was a good game for the Redbacks against the team he described as the best in the competition.
“They had more possession and more chances but we weren’t without our chances, particularly early on,” Wand said.
“If we had taken those, it changes things a lot.”
Thornton have taken on three of the competition’s heavyweights in Cooks Hill United, Belmont Swansea United and New Lambton in the last three weeks
“This game was a massive turnaround for us after conceding five goals against Cooks Hill two weeks ago,” Wand said.
The Redbacks find themselves level on 23 points with third-placed Singleton.
Cooks Hill United 5-1 South Cardiff FC
Cooks Hill’s dominant performances in recent weeks have seen them close the gap between first and second place to three points.
Cooks Hill hosted South Cardiff at Fearnley Dawes Athletics Field on Saturday where South Cardiff were able to hold the hosts scoreless in the first half. The home team had the best chance of the half where they found the back of the net but the goal was disallowed.
Cooks Hill came out in the second half to score five goals in quick succession with Daniel Yaxely scoring a hat-trick while Jamie Byrnes and Nick Russell also scored for the hosts.
South Cardiff found consolation in one of the last kicks of the game with a goal through Steve Stanton.
Cooks Hill coach David Tanchevski said it was a frustrating first half.
“We made 15 chances and couldn’t put them away,” Tanchevski said.
“We spoke about composure at half-time and about keeping the pressure on in the second half.
“After we scored the first goal, the second came then the third, the fourth and the fifth.
“I am happy with the performance but we weren’t as clinical as usual. The only disappointing part was to concede a goal.”
Another positive for Cooks Hill was the return of Lee Ashton who made a presence off the bench.
Cooks Hill are now only three points behind leaders New Lambton. Cooks Hill will look to take over top spot when they host Cessnock City next week while the Eagles have the bye.
South Cardiff interim coach Geoff Allen said it was always going to be a tough ask against Cooks Hill.
“We have had a difficult season as everyone probably knows,” Allen said.
“It was a good first half and we were happy to go in to the break 0-0. The second half was a different game.
“Cookers have quality across the park and scored five goals in a few minutes. By the time we regathered composure the game was done.
“We are a young side and still quite inexperienced. When a team goes up a couple gears and has quality we struggle to deal with it. They went up went a gear in the second half and we didn’t go up with them.”
Allen said Jarryd Johnson was a huge help to his side in the first half with the constant pressure and that he had been consistent all year. Goalkeeper Isaac Terry was also exceptional for the Gunners.
West Wallsend SFC 6-1 Cessnock City
A convincing win for West Wallsend has helped them climb into the top five.
West Wallsend’s Tye Jones was first on the score sheet after putting away his one on one with Cessnock’s goalkeeper.
Josh West scored the second from a header to put his team up 2-0 at the break.
Cessnock came back to get the score to 2-1 through Zac Kronholm earlier in the second half after West Wallsend failed to clear the ball in defence.
But West Wallsend kicked back in to gear with Josh Carroll, Jones, Jed Conway and Tom Sparre scoring in the second half to finish the game 6-1.
“I thought we played very well. We were very sharp today,” West Wallsend coach Darren sills said.
“I thought all round it was a good performance and it could have been a lot more. We also hit the post twice and the crossbar once.
“I thought we did really well. We were disciplined in everything that we did today.”
West Wallsend are back at home next week where they host Singleton in the Match of the Round.
“It’s always a tough game at Westy,” Cessnock coach Michael Gatt said.
“It is a tough place to travel.
“We scored one early in the second half and stepped up but at the end of the day they were too good for us.
“It was a hard-fought match. We were in the contest for 50 minutes but they were too strong for us in the end.”
Cessnock have a tough schedule ahead as they are back on the road to play Cooks Hill at Fearnley Dawes Athletics Field in round 16.
Wallsend FC 1-3 Toronto Awaba FC
Wallsend entered the match after playing on Wednesday where they upset Belmont Swansea United 2-1 to only sit five points away from fifth place.
But the Red Devils were unable to back up that effort, falling 3-1 to Toronto Awaba on Sunday night.
Wallsend opened the scoring at The Gardens after some good lead up play which was finished off by Angus Hall.
Toronto Awaba fought back to get to 2-1 at half-time and finished the game off 3-1 with Nick Roberts bagging two and Clancy Muddle one.
Wallsend coach Craig Tselembis said it was a stop-start affair.
“We were a bit lazy. We went one up and went away from what we usually do,” Tselembis said.
“We were our own worst enemy in a lot of areas.
“It was a very physical game and we didn’t go with it.”
Tselembis said his side were a little disappointed with the result but was not sure if it was a hangover from the midweek game. After a great result against BelSwans they had hoped to continue that on.
“I can’t fault the boys. They go out and give it everything each week,” Tselembis said.
The Red Devils sent their best wishes to the Toronto Awaba players that went off early in the match with injuries and hope they have a quick recovery.
Meanwhile Toronto Awaba continue to find their form after a difficult start to the season.
The Stags have picked up nine points in the last four games and continue to move up the table.
Toronto Awaba caretaker coach Shaun Paterson said with Wallsend up 1-0 his side showed plenty of fight to come back.
The Stags suffered some serious injuries early in the game with one player having to leave in an ambulance but Paterson said his side showed good fight and resilience despite the early hindrances.
Toronto Awaba face fourth-placed Thornton next week where only 10 points separate the two teams on the ladder.